Daulton Varsho fitting in with Blue Jays

In just 30 seconds in a Toronto clubhouse, Dalton Versho is a perfect fit for the Blue Jays.

He can be seen sitting in front of a corner locker at the Rogers Center, quietly chuckling as fellow outfielders George Springer and Whit Merrifield gently chide the 26-year-old Vasho.

“It’s been great here,” Varsho said before being cut off.

“Liar!” said Mr. Springer.

“Yeah, be honest, Dalton,” said Merrifield.

“I’ll be honest,” Varsho laughed.

“You hate your teammates and you hate everyone,” Merrifield said, further infuriating Vulsho.

Varsho was traded to Toronto from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December for left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and catcher Gabriel Moreno. Varsho was drafted by the Diamondbacks as a catcher, but was split between that position and center field last season. Since joining the Blue Jays, he’s spent most of his time in left field.

Getting used to the new position in the outfield and the new city was easy.

“Everyone was great. I learned a lot,” Varsho said forcefully, interrupting Merrifield and Springer. “I am growing and getting better every day.

“I had a lot of fun figuring out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to improve.”

Varsho certainly had plenty of opportunities to learn. He has played in 77 of 79 games for Toronto, one game behind Blue Jays shortstop Beau Bichett, in Major League Baseball this year.

“He brings a lot to us every day,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “There’s always an opportunity to hit a home run, an opportunity to steal a base, and an opportunity to make a great play,” he said.

“He really takes pride in his skill set and will help you win every day.”

Arizona called up Vasho to the major leagues on July 30, 2020. He finished the season with a .188 batting average and three homers, but has improved offensively since then. His career record is .231 with 53 homers and 35 stolen bases.

222 with 12 homers and 10 stolen bases, most of those stats are for Toronto this season.

“He had his ups and downs offensively, but we knew him,” Schneider said. “He understands how he’s being thrown a little bit, and he’s trying to get the ball a little bit lower in the zone instead of up.”

Varsho said his outfield partners in Toronto have been very helpful in his progress, especially in learning how to read the ball in left field. He credits both Springer and platinum glove winner Kevin Keemeyer for helping the Blue Jays as soon as they arrived at spring training in Dunedin, Florida.

“It was nice to come out together and understand which balls we could reach and do things other than communicating,” Varsho said. “It’s great to have players who have been around for a while and be able to learn from them and walk around with them.”

Varsho has spent most of the season as an outfielder for Toronto, but he may be forced into a catcher role in the next few days. Catcher Alejandro Kirk is on the 10-day injured list with a lacerated hand, forcing the Blue Jays to call up veteran Tyler Heineman to back up Danny Jansen at bat. there is

But Heinemann left early Sunday’s 12-1 victory over the Athletics with a left flank discomfort. Schneider said Heinemann will be reassessed before Toronto’s next game, but it’s possible that Varsho will understand his plan.

“I think a lot depends on[Heinemann’s]mood,” Schneider said after the game. “If it’s to the point where he can’t play, I think he’ll look for other options, but I think it’s something he can manage.

“But Vulsho will know, he will be ready if needed.”

The Blue Jays continue their nine-game homestand on Tuesday as they host the San Francisco Giants in a three-game interleague game. The rival Boston Red Sox will visit the Rogers Center starting Friday.

This report by the Canadian Press Agency was first published on June 26, 2023.

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